President Donald J. Trump said that Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison told him that Carnival’s cruise ships will be available if the government should need them amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“I spoke with Micky Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines and he is going to make ships available,” Trump said, in a White House press conference on Thursday. “So in addition to the big medical ships you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they will be docked in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, different places.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is no stranger to chartering cruise ships for temporary housing, having done so following Hurricane Katrina, and hurricanes in 2017. Both times FEMA worked with Carnival.
Cruise ships could supply temporary housing for a quarantine facility, or serve as housing for medical or government workers, or in some cases, have been suggested as sites for surge hospital capacity.
Ships also provide a secure environment. Authorities would know who is on the ship at any time, and can restrict access and movements relatively easily, compared to a land-based site.
Carnival Corporation owns nine brands with approximately 105 ships across its fleet.
The Oakland, California city council president has floated an idea to house 1,000 of the city’s homeless on a cruise ship, according to local news reports.
At a public meeting Tuesday, Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said a ship in the city’s harbour could act as emergency housing for the city’s ballooning homeless population, which rose from 1,900 to more than 3,200 since 2018, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Kaplan reportedly plans to officially propose the idea in January.
The council president claimed to already be in discussions with cruise lines about the project, which would offer cabin space on a pay-what-you-can scale, based on income.
She said similar efforts had worked to temporarily shelter aid workers after natural disasters and to house Olympic athletes.
Obvious unaddressed problems include the overall cost of per-square-foot cruise cabins versus shoreside apartments:
Fuel and crew pay to get a ship to Oakland.
Fuel to operate the ship while in the harbor.
California shoreside power regulations, both current and future.
Wastewater produced by the ship.
Freshwater needed for the ship.
Paying the necessary ship’s crew while in the harbor.
Comparatively quick degradation of ship infrastructure versus that of land-based buildings.
Carnival Cruise Line kicked off 2019 with its first-ever float in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., ahead of the arrival of the new Long Beach-based Carnival Panorama later this year,
Modelled after the new 133,500-ton Vista-class ship, the float cruised down the five-mile parade route this morning delighting the crowd of 700,000 who gathered along with the float riders to a Carnival nine-piece band playing “Uptown Funk” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” as well as the estimated 80 million television viewers.
Aptly named “Come Sail Away,” the 55-foot-long ship-shaped float featured floral-inspired reproductions of signature Carnival features like the iconic red and blue funnel, a water park and fun-filled Lido Deck party, and the line’s newest attraction — the first-ever trampoline park at sea, in partnership with Sky Zone with jumpers on a working trampoline built into the front portion of the float.
The float also included a replica of the Carnival AirShip flying overhead, just like the blimp that will embark on a month-long tour of California to promote Carnival’s continued expansion in Long Beach, as well as new cruise options from San Diego and San Francisco.
Designed by Carnival’s in-house creative team and Fiesta Parade Floats, construction of the maritime marvel began in mid-November and encompassed 10 designers collectively working hundreds of hours right up until parade time.
Dozens of volunteers, including Carnival travel agent partners, joined the designers to decorate the float.
“We’re the number one cruise line from the West Coast and what better way to celebrate this distinction and the arrival of Carnival Panorama than by our first-ever Rose Parade which truly captures the essence of what Choosing Fun on a Carnival cruise is all about,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.